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Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 14
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 15
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 16
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 17
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 18
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 19
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 20

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

CHAPTER 2 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The immediate purpose of this report is the identifica- tion of technologies which, if implemented in the U.S., could have an impact on meeting the food needs of a growing world population and the demands of increasingly affluent societies. There are at least three major reasons other than humanitarian ones why we should increase food production in the U.S. First, people worldwide are restless: there is increasing violence and struggles for freedom. Food must be provided along with education and health care. Second, it is in the best interest of American business to increase food production. Expanding exports of agricultural commodities are the only real hope for maintaining a balance of payments in international trade. Third, increased food production is in the best interest of the American consumer. If production is not increased, food prices will continue to rise even faster than they have during the past two years. The rapid increase in world population adds its own urgency to the U.S. need to increase food production. Nevertheless, were the present rate of expansion in population to be maintained, it would, in due course, nullify all efforts to decrease hunger and malnutrition in the world. An additional 25 million tons of grain must be produced each year to feed the current annual increment in world population. The research and development efforts recommended in this report are vital to gain time—until the expansion of population comes at least partially under control. No other course accords with both the long-term self interest and the humanitarian tradition of the U.S. Our recommendations must be considered in the context of a situation made desperate by the large annual growth in human population. The recommendations that follow emphasize the technological (biological, physical, and chemical) research and development needed to enhance production and improve the dependability of U.S. food supplies, conserve resources, and improve nutrition. Fully developed recommendations concerning institutional, economic, and social changes required to increase domestic production are not provided. There is an urgent need for establishing national goals and policies in food and nutrition research including an improved institutional framework for reporting, observing, and managing the wide range of U.S. research activities -8-

related to food. A more coherent overview and annual assessment of the national food and nutrition research by the 15 or more federal agencies, the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES), and industry is needed to identify priorities and integrate effectively the activities of public and private research programs. Non-agricultural interests (such as the environment and rural development) as well as agricultural interests should be reflected in this annual assessment. General recommendations on the need for funds for agricultural, food, and nutritional research, by public and private institutions, should be developed. We suggest that a National Agricultural Research Policy Council representing the many federal and state agencies responsible for agricultural and agriculturally related research be established. It should have responsibility for establishing national agricultural policies and goals. (See Chapter 3.) We further suggest that science and technology be assigned a prominent role within the structure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that research be emphasized as a major mission. (See Chapter 3.) Included in this negotiation is the appointment of a principal scientist and spokesman for agricultural research and one concerned with science and technology, equipped with staff and budgetary support that would make the USDA the focal point for food related research. More site-specific, mission-oriented, applied research is needed in the U.S. to produce technologies to increase the production of food and enhance the dependability of its supply over the next two decades. Over the long interval, increased understanding of the biological principles underlying agricultural productivity will be the source of the major contributions. Both short- and long-range research have been substantially reduced over the past decade because the buying power of appropriations and grants has fallen far behind rising costs. We recommend a substantial increase of support for research directed toward the production, dependability, and guality of the food supply. (This recommendation is supported throughout the report.) Financial support for such research should be increased to restore at least the 1966 buying power, and the support should be broadly distributed. State and federal support—now totalling about $450 million per year—for research related to agricultural productivity should be increased immediately by 40 percent. This would restore the buying power of the 1960s. The 40 percent increase could be effectively used by current staff and facilities of the USDA and the SAES, and by U.S. universities with support from food-related programs sponsored by NSF, NIH, and AEC-ERDA. Methods for funding applied research should be flex- ible, permitting financing of both the unique thrusts of the -9-

individual scientist and the relatively massive concentra- tion of resources required in multidisciplinary programs focusing on major, complex agricultural problems. Biological research related to food production has benefitted enormously from the diversity of goals and kinds of support provided by NSF, NIH, AEC-ERDA, and the USDA-SAES programs. NSF has, in general, supported research fundamental to all living things. NIH has supported research with general relevance to medicine and human health. AEC-ERDA has supported programs related to energy, radiation, and nutritional up-take. The USDA and SAES have emphasized site-specific, mission- and commodity-oriented applied technologies. All these approaches are required, and their progress and efficacy should be enhanced by additional funding that will maintain the current balance of the system. We believe that responsibility for administration of the bulk of regular appropriations should remain vested in the USDA-SAES complex. However, we further recommend that a competitive grants program be initiated and administered by^ the USDA and other agencies to encourage research in critical areas identified in the report. (See Chapter 3.) Interaction among those working in the basic scientific disciplines, U.S. agricultural research institutions, the international agricultural research centers, and programs in agriculturally developing countries should be encouraged in the grant program. There is a need to facilitate the movement of new technologies and information to food production sites. (See Chapter 4.) More effective distribution of scientific and technical information concerning agriculture could have a significant impact on food production. Much of the information contained in scientific reports is usually not written in language understandable by its most important potential user, i.e., the farmer. Other information possessed by the practitioners themselves is not adequately shared. State-of-the-art reports and farm management bulletins in specific areas should be issued. Socioeconomic inputs must also be considered in such publications, each of which would present in a clear and idiomatic way an analysis of what is known and what requires further local or regional research. It is important to make special efforts to reach each cultural group. Audiovisual aids should be developed for those who cannot read. The U.S. cooperative extension organizations respon- sible for technology delivery systems—now including produc- tion, nutrition, policy, rural development, related to the USDA-SAES—should be broadened to make effective use of the technology and information of other federal and state agencies engaged in agricultural, food, and nutrition research. An example could be a weather advisory system, including seasonal and longer-term forecasts, to provide -10-

weather information for more effective management of food producing systems. The federal plan which has been partially implemented by NOAA for improved weather information services should be expanded to include national coverage. (See Chapter 10.) Agricultural management systems are sensitive to weather. Investments in machinery are determined by the climate of an area and day-to-day decisions by farmers require correct interpretation of short-range weather out- looks. Accurate, short-range biological forecasts based on the accumulation of past weather studies determine the design and operation of emerging pest management systems. The effectiveness of hydrologic systems for handling feed lot wastes, the availability of solar energy for grain drying, and the design and operation of water management systems all profit from accurate short-range weather forecasts. Changing climate and fluctuating weather add further complications to farming and fisheries. We recommend that U.S. professional educational needs with respect to the technological aspects of food production be identified. (See Chapter 13.) Existing programs need to be strengthened and new ones established. Training programs supported by USDA, NSF, NIH, and USAID as well as state funds are needed for those who will conduct the nation's food research in the future. While national undergraduate enrollments are up in colleges of agriculture, well-focused, food production oriented, graduate training programs need stimulatory action both to increase their output and to better tune them for the challenges ahead. In addition, many educational programs in the applied agricultural (both biophysical and social) sciences are separate from the biological, chemical, and social science departments in institutions of higher learning. The separating of basic and applied research is so sharply drawn as to exclude concern for food production- oriented basic research. Programs for training of young U.S. scientists and retraining of established investigators must be instituted to bring the quality of science that undergirds agricultural productivity to a higher level. Thus, along with the general additions to existing programs in colleges of agriculture there must ultimately be university affiliated laboratories dedicated to specific programs of agricultural productivity and to the training and retraining of agricul- tural scientists in the most modern and effective methodolo- gies of the physical sciences. Training is needed in basic research on the biological processes that control or limit crop, livestock, and fish productivity; on the biology and ecology of rhizobial technology and pest management; and on the biological and behavioral sciences that underlie human nutrition, food science and technology, environmental science, and waste management. Animal health scientists are critically few: -11-

most veterinarians treat pets and do not address the needs of livestock, poultry, and fish production industries. Expanded training programs should channel substantially more resources toward solving problems of food production, animal health, and infertility. The problems are multi- disciplinary; they cannot be handled with technology alone. Further, there is a need for a new generation of plant scientists trained in the fundamentals of physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and ecology and better trained in the techniques of modern physics and chemistry. Though this report deals mainly with biological and physical research to enhance food production and improve stability of supply, the overview called for must include research on institutional, social, and economic aspects of the food problem. We, therefore, recommend that concerned agencies and organizations mount an effort to appraise research contributions from the social sciences appropriate to the solution of problems involving food production. SPECIFIC RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS The specific technical research recommendations which follow focus on crop and livestock production and on the dependability of our food supply, the resources that are necessary to achieve that productivity and dependability, and the requisite processing and storage technologies and distribution systems necessary to insure that food will reach those in need. The recommendations concern the principal areas of research needed to meet short- and long- term food requirements. Fundamental research undergirding food production tech- nology has languished for two decades. The NSF has not focused on agriculturally related research, although it has given substantial support to botany, zoology, and plant and animal physiology and pathology. The USDA-SAES complex has not adequately funded basic research relating to biological processes that control crop and livestock productivity and insure a greater stability of supply. Because of crop surpluses, political pressures from commodity groups, budgetary reductions, and emphasis on immediately applicable results, a formerly substantial basic research effort in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the SAES virtually disappeared. Consequently the agricultural research system now faces inadequacies in fundamental knowledge about photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, crop and livestock protection, water and nutrient efficiencies, genetics, biochemical aspects of handling and processing of crops, livestock and fish, and plant-soil- water relationships. -12-

The first three of the specific recommendations which are considered high-priority research areas will require coordinated massive efforts. Specific Recommendation I (See Chapter 14) Expand research on photosynthesis so as, ultimately, to increase crop productivity through: (a) an increase in carbon dioxide assimilation by modulation of the flow of carbon during photosynthesis; (b) an increase in net photosynthesis by regulation of the wasteful processes of dark respiration and light-induced respiration; (c) redistribution of carbon within the plant to increase the agronomic yield; and (d) adaptation of crops to utilize full seasonal potential by control of flowering and senescence. Basic research on photosynthesis is urgently needed to determine how the regulatory properties of the enzymes of carbon metabolism relate to the flow of carbon. This approach could lead to an increase in the rate of carbon dioxide uptake and to a diminution of wasteful respiratory losses that could result in a substantial increase in productivity of some crop plants. The agronomic yield or harvest index is a measure of how the products of photosynthesis are partitioned between seed and non-seed parts of the plant. Improving the distribution of carbon within the plant is an urgent goal of plant physiologists and breeders especially as net photosynthesis is improved. A large research effort is required to understand the mechanisms underlying the translocation of carbon within the plant. In many geographical regions there are enormous wastes of the photosynthetic system because the crops grown are poorly adapted to the local temperature and day-length patterns. Crop varieties should be chosen or developed (i.e., through control of flowering and senescence) which can use the full potential of the growing conditions by retaining their maximum rate of photosynthesis. Planting schedules can be designed for optimum capture of solar energy. The current level of funding for all research on photosynthesis in the U.S. is approximately $10 million and widely dispersed among 75 to 100 federal, university, and industrial laboratories throughout the nation. The current investment base for photosynthesis is primarily derived from NSF ($4 million), NIH ($1 million), AEC-ERDA ($2 million), and SAES ($3 million). A twofold increase from the several -13-

federal agencies enumerated below is recommended for fiscal 1977 to be distributed as follows: (a) Two or three federally funded, university affiliated national institutes with a central theme of research on photosynthesis should be established at land- grant universities or other universities with strength in this area. Close cooperation of plant physiologists, plant biochemists, agronomists, and physical scientists is a prerequisite to better understanding and ultimate mastery of this complex biological process. Support from the NSF on the order of an additional $4 million annually is urgently recommended for these institutes which would also become the focal points of research training. (b) Additional funds should be made available to the NSF, NIH, and AEC-ERDA extramural grants program and to the Experiment Station Program, to allow an approximate 50 percent increase in their current support of research on photosynthesis. (c) A competitive USDA grant program should be undertaken with special emphasis upon photosynthesis and the regulation of photosynthetic rates in crop plants. An initial investment of $1 million is recommended. Specific Recommendation II (See Chapter 15) Strengthen research on biological nitrogen fixation, with particular emphasis on improving understanding of the biological and chemical processes involved, and on identifi- cation of nitrogen fixing systems applicable to major eco- nomic species of cereal crops and forage grasses. Establish a publicly supported Center on Nitrogen Fixation Technology to acquire, evaluate, maintain, and make available to research workers a^ comprehensive collection of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms. Train technologists in this field. Provide a mechanism for monitoring inoculant quality. Fertilizer nitrogen has become increasingly expensive, and fossil fuel for its manufacture and transport will con- tinue to become more scarce. Yet, over the last 20 years scientific and technical skills in biological nitrogen fixation and the supply of experts in nitrogen fixation microbiology have not increased substantially. There is now an urgent need to establish research and extension teams in various climatic regions where efforts of microbiologists, plant breeders, geneticists, plant and microbial physiologists, plant nutritionists, biochemists, agronomists, and agricultural extension specialists can establish coordinated programs for developing and field demonstrating increased biological nitrogen fixation. -14-

Additional multidisciplinary research teams of 10 to 12 scientists at those institutions with strength in the area should investigate the chemical and biochemical mechanisms as a basis for discovery of new chemical methods for nitrogen fixation. Other teams are needed for studies of the genetics of nitrogen fixing organisms so that the nitrogen-fixing capability can be transferred from one organism to another. Research should focus on ways of decreasing dependence upon chemically synthesized nitrogen fertilizer, and on increasing the supply of biologically fixed nitrogen by forage and grain legumes and nitrogen- fixing associations of microorganisms with grasses, shrubs, trees, lichens, and marine organisms, and the design of new cropping systems. A technology center is needed to acquire, evaluate, and monitor the quality of inoculants sold to farmers. Such a center would also train technologists for a nitrogen-fixing field training program and produce professionals in the genetics of nitrogen fixing microorganisms and general rhizobial microbiology. The current funding level of less than $5 million from all sources in this nation for research on biological nitrogen fixation is grossly inadequate. Research funding should be increased to $25 million beginning in fiscal 1977, with a 25 percent annual increment of the base for the next 5 years. Specific Recommendation III (See Chapter 16) Develop techniques for genetic manipulation beyond those of conventional plant breeding, including in vitro techniques for asexual approaches, and broad-crosses between crop species. Programs to improve varieties will continue to make major contributions to crop production. Exploratory research on single cell culture and somatic cell genetics suggests that, using these methods, it may be possible to propagate and to improve a wide variety of otherwise genetically incompatible cultivars. Furthermore, the transfer of genetic information between species and genera of plants, or between bacteria and higher plants, though previously impossible by normal sexual methods, may be achievable by DMA recombination techniques. The potential for improved crop production and quality with these new genetic techniques is great. (See the references to Section II.) Photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation are interdependent processes, and research on one is complementary to the other; more carbon flow is essential if biological nitrogen -15-

fixation is to be enhanced. Moreover, since new techniques for genetic manipulation have worldwide application in the development of new and improved plants, research in all three areas should be coordinated. Less than $500 thousand is currently invested in non- conventional plant breeding in the U.S. It is recommended that research funds be increased fivefold beginning with a doubling in fiscal 1977. Some of the payoffs for increased research investments in photosynthesis, biological nitrogen fixation, and non- conventional plant breeding could occur within five years; others would require ten to twenty years. The scale of the potential payoffs could be equivalent to the returns from the discovery of hybrid vigor and the more accurate use of chemical fertilizers. The 1975 MIT report on "Protein Resources and Technology: Status and Research Needs" supports these recommendations. Specific Recommendation IV (See Chapter 9) Improve technologies for abiotic nitrogen fixation as alternatives to the present reliance on natural gas for chemical fixation. Develop improved catalytic procedures with low energy requirements for production of fertilizer nitrogen. Improve efficiency of use of fertilizer nitrogen by crops. Increasing amounts of fertilizer nitrogen have been a significant factor in increasing grain production. TVA estimates that in 1972 the total world use of nitrogen was 33.7 million tons, and that by 1980 total use will be between 53 and 61 million tons. Energy shortages, environmental constraints, transport limitations, and costs dictate the need to discover and develop improved technologies for production of fertilizer nitrogen. The current recovery of less than 50 percent of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium applied to crops mandates a research investment to improve efficiency of uptake. It is recommended that an additional $25 million be made available to develop technologies of abiotic nitrogen fixation through the pilot plant stage. An additional $1.5 million per year for 3 years will be required to improve nitrogen uptake by crops. -16-

Specific Recommendation V (See Chapters 7 and 8) Complete an inventory of the land resources of the United States and support the 1975 Assessment of Water and Related Land Resources effort of the U.S. Water Resources Council. Food production capacity and stability of yield are dependent upon land and water resources. The information and reporting system, here as well as abroad, is inadequate. Estimates of the reserve land resources for crop production in the U.S. alone vary from 20 to 60 million hectares. High priority should be given to completing a detailed soil mapping survey of the U.S. Such information is needed to identify land and water most suitable for potential food production. It is required in order to designate what currently tilled land is suitable for preservation and protection. Such information would also provide a rationale for land and water use decisions. A first approximation for the U.S. could be completed in 3 to 5 years through the use of modern technology, such as the "Land Sat" programs and computers. Water is available both as a mined, nonrenewable resource and as a renewable but limited resource. Under rapidly increasing demands from agriculture and other segments of society, we must optimize use of water resources. Agriculture suffers from some degree of water deficiency over the entire globe. In some instances, nonrenewable water resources are being mined for temporarily circumscribed agricultural production. It is thus mandatory that we have an inventory of water resources for establishing policies on future use, and for estimating sustainable agricultural production capacities. Drought is one of the major factors producing food shortages. Future dependability of food supplies requires the preservation and protection of water resources and improved management technologies. Specific Recommendation VI (See Chapter 12) Design a concerted program of research in pest control to improve existing techniques and develop innovations for crops and livestock and for food products. Pests (insects, weeds, viruses, bacteria, fungi, nema- todes, vertebrates) are competitors with man for food and fiber. One-third of the annual harvest is destroyed by pests, and substantial losses due to pests during storage -17-

further reduce the productivity of U.S. agriculture. Many pests are also vectors of pathogens of disease in plants, livestock, fish, and humans. Encouraging developments in several areas suggest that intensified research on new pest control technologies can have a significant effect on food production. In particular, attention should be focused on the development of research programs on (1) biologically-based hormone or pheromone analogues that interfere selectively with the reproductive process of the pest species; (2) microbial and natural biological agents for pest control, especially the bacculoviruses; and (3) integrated approaches to pest management, embodying ecologically-based strategies based on combinations of the above methods with cultural, genetic, and conventional chemical techniques. If these measures could be translated into applications, they would achieve significant and highly visible increases in yield in a short time. They are also necessary to forestall the developing impact of genetic resistance in pest populations to chemical pesticides, and the decreased availability of these compounds arising from shortages of petrochemical feedstocks or environmental constraints on their use. We endorse the recommendations of the NAS report, Pest Control: An Assessment of Present and Alternative Technologies (NAS, in press). Specific Recommendation VII (See Chapter 11) Evaluate alternative technologies for reducing the energy used in producing agricultural commodities, and in assembling, distributing, and utilizing foods and feeds. The U.S. food system (production, processing, distribu- tion, preparation) uses 12 to 15 percent of the total energy consumed nationally, of which only about 3 percent is used in the production phase. Opportunities exist for applying specific technological practices for reducing energy inputs into agricultural production while at the same time conserving land and water (by such means as no plowing, slow release fertilizers, or crop rotations). Alternative pathways for production, processing, and distribution and food preparation for each major food com- modity should be reviewed, and an assessment including eco- nomics made of comparable fossil fuel energy inputs. New technologies should be examined as opportunities to reduce energy use at each phase of food producing systems. The current investment base for energy research in U.S. agricultural food producing systems approximates $1 million. A fivefold increase for fiscal year 1977 is recommended. -18-

This additional funding should be invested in an examination of existing alternative technologies. Regional efforts through the SAES should be funded. In addition, a competitive grant program should be expanded to support this activity. Specific Recommendation VIII (See Chapters 18 and 19) Increase production of domestic food animals, poultry, and fish by improving fertility and reducing disease. The food producing function of domestic animals is to convert to meat, milk, and eggs the nutrients from crops, forages, and by-products that do not have greater value in other uses. Food producing animals that are residual bidders after food-crop and industrial crop requirements have been satisfied, should receive priority attention. As a renewable resource, our livestock must be produced from the existing populations. Replacement of the animals slaughtered is least expensive and most efficient from a minimum number in the reproducing population. High reproductive performance and maximum disease control is achieved by reducing embryo and fetal mortality and death of the young. U.S. research on animal health should deal with diseases current not only in America, but elsewhere. This would enhance the supply of animal protein while preventing the introduction of diseases into American animal populations, including diseases to which humans are susceptible. Approximately $10 million is currently invested in research in the U.S. for the reduction of infertility in livestock. This investment should be doubled and funded as a competitive grant program administered by the Cooperative State Research Service of the USDA. The program should support innovative research with contracts of 3 to 5 years. Additional funding is needed for disease control research. Specific Recommendation IX (See Chapter 17) Develop and use effectively forage systems and rangelands for domestic food animals. Forages and rangelands provide more than half the nutrients consumed by livestock and beef and dairy cattle. Sixty-five to seventy-five percent of the feed units come from forages. Because of increased use of feed grains for -19-

human consumption and increased costs of grains for livestock, feeds must come from high quality forages and by- products. Beef and dairy cattle alone produce more than half the nutrients consumed by Americans, but production will be decreased unless alternative sources of nutrients are provided for livestock. A major research effort is needed to improve forage yields, increase the nutritional value of forages, and increase the efficiency of forage use by animals. The total current research expenditure on forage crops, pastures, and rangelands is $30 million annually spent by publicly supported state and federal laboratories in the U.S. Because of the complex nature of the research needed in all states and on more than 50 crop species, this research effort should be increased to $60 million annually. New federal funds administered by the USDA should be provided to state and federal laboratories that are currently engaged in pasture, forage, and grassland research. Specific Recommendation X (See Chapter 21) Improve the technological and scientific basis for aquaculture. The potential for increased food production through aquaculture is large if appropriate research effort is applied. Areas where urgent research is needed include the following: (1) methods of increasing supplies of seed (eggs and larvae) through studies on reproductive physiology to induce maturation and spawning in captivity and the development and maintenance of brood stocks; (2) genetic modification and selective breeding; (3) nutrition of cultured animals and the development of inexpensive and nutritionally effective feeds; and (4) disease prevention and control. The current annual funding of research and development of aquaculture in the U.S. approximates $22 million of which $12 million is from the federal government, $2 million from state sources, and $8 million from industry. Among the nine federal agencies in five departments, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior), NOAA, and the Office of Sea Grant (both Department of Commerce) are the most active. They spend, respectively, $4.4, $2.4, and $3.8 million annually. A level of funding at 50 percent above the present level ($33 million) is suggested for expansion of food production through aquaculture. -20-

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